Mystery deepens over human bones used as teaching aids at schools in Japan
Japan Times -- Jan 23
The mystery over the recently discovered use of real human bones as skeleton models at schools has continued to deepen.

How the real bones were procured is unknown in most cases, as no precise records exist.

People familiar with the matter say that the bones seem to have been purchased or donated long ago. But how they ended up in the hands of the schools largely remains a mystery.

According to prefectural education boards, human bones have been discovered so far at 16 schools in six prefectures: Ishikawa, Fukui, Aichi, Oita, Miyazaki and Kagoshima.

The first case was at Tsurumaru High School in Kagoshima Prefecture, where a real skull was found in a specimen cabinet in a biology lecture room in July 2016. It turned out to be from a woman who is believed to have died some 50 years before.

This prompted investigations by prefectural education boards in many parts of the country, leading to similar discoveries at other schools.

In many cases, human bones were used in biology classes, while Konan High School in Kagoshima Prefecture used them as drawing models in art classes. A Miyazaki prefectural school for the visually impaired used them in manual therapy classes for those training to be nationally certified massage practitioners.

Skeleton models made of real human bones “were procured from India and sold to university hospitals and elsewhere until around the Showa 40s” (1965 to 1974), said an official from a producer of medical study materials.

News source: Japan Times
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